Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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YATES, Abraham, member of the Continental congress, born in Albany, New York, 23 August, 1724; died there, 30 June, 1796. He was an active patriot in the Revolution, and wrote a series of spirited articles under the signature of "Sidney" and other pen-names. He was state senator in 1777 and 1779-'90 of New York, and president of the Provincial congress in 1775-'6, also a member of the Continental congress in 1788-'9. He was receiver of Albany in 1778-'9 and its mayor in 1790-'6.--His grandnephew, Joseph Christopher, governor of New York, born in Schenectady, New York, 9 November, 1768; died there, 19 March, 1837, was a son of Christopher Yates (1737-1785), who was a land-surveyor and served during the Revolutionary war as colonel of a regiment of engineers, and was quartermaster-general under General Philip Schuyler. Yates studied and practised law at Schenectady, and was one of the founders of Union college in 1795. He served as mayor of Schenectady in 1798-1808, as state senator in 1806-'7, and as judge of the supreme court in 1808-'22, and was governor of the state of New York in 1823-'5. A county in New York state is named in his honor.--His brother, Andrew, clergyman, born in Schenectady, New York, 17 January, 1773 ; died in I)ay, New York, 14 October, 1844, was graduated at Yale in 1793, and then studied theology with John H. Livingston. In 1797 he became professor of Latin and Greek in the first faculty of Union college, which chair he held until 1801. He then accepted the pastorate of the East Hartford Congregational church until 1814, when he returned to Union as professor of mental and moral philosophy. In 1825 he became principal of the Polytechnic at Chittenango, where he continued until 1836. The degree of S. T. D., was conferred upon him by Middlebury in 1814.--Another brother, John Barentse, soldier, born in Schenectady, New York, 1 February, 1784; died in Chittenango, New York, 11 July, 1836, was graduated at Union in 1802 and studied law with his brother Henry. During the war of 1812 he served under General Wade Hampton on the northern frontier of the state of New York, and later was appointed aide to Governor Daniel D. Tompkins. Subsequently he was elected as a Democrat to congress, and served from 4 December, 1815, till 3 March, 1817. Governor Tompkins made him senior manager of the "literature lotteries" during the last years of their existence. Through his personal influence in New York and England, he aided largely in the building of the Welland canal, receiving from the Duke of Wellington $10,000 toward the scheme. He was for many years judge of the county of Madison, and its member of the assembly at the time of his death.--Andrew Yates's grandson, John Barentse, engineer, born in Schenectady, New York, 19 October, 1833, was graduated at Union in 1852, and served during the civil war as colonel of the 1st Michigan engineers under General William T. Sherman. Subsequently he became a division engineer on the New York state canals.--Another grandson, Austin Andrew, lawyer, born in Schenectady, New York. 24 March, 1836, was graduated at Union in 1854. He served during the civil war as captain in the 134th New York volunteers, and subsequently was assistant to Judge-Advocate-General Joseph Holt. In 1868 he was elected district attorney of Schenectady county, and he was judge from 1873 till 1876. He has a large law-practice in Schenectady, and has been twice a member of the New York assembly.--Another grandson, Arthur Reid, naval officer, born in Schenectady, New York, 20 October, 1838, was graduated at the United States naval academy in 1857, and served during the civil war. He was an aide to Admiral Farragut in the battle of Mobile Bay, and was commended in that officer's report to congress. Since 9 February, 1884, he has been captain, and he now has command of the steamer " Pensacola."
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